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12th Street Bridge

Ben M. Williamson Sr. Bridge

12th Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: March 3, 2007 and June 7, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
12th Street Over Ohio River
Coal Grove and Ashland: Boyd County, Kentucky and Lawrence County, Ohio: United States
Structure Type
Metal Cantilever Rivet-Connected Modified Warren (Subdivided) Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Rivet-Connected Warren (No Verticals) Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1930 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: John Edwin Greiner (J. E. Greiner Company of Baltimore, Maryland and Chicago, Illinois)

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
739 Feet (225.2 Meters)
Structure Length
2,278 Feet (694.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
22 Feet (6.71 Meters)
3 Main Span(s) and 12 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This is large cantilever truss bridge. The southernmost span of the main continuous cantilever structure is slightly inclined, and this can be seen by observing the angles that the bottom chord assumes. Unlike some cantilever bridges however, the overall deck is not visibly cambered.

Although a memorial plaque on this bridge lists a 1950 date, this is not when the bridge was built. The date may reference when the memorial name was applied to the bridge, rather than when the actual bridge was constructed. The National Bridge Inventory provides a 1930 date, which seems appropriate for the construction of this bridge. The bridge was rehabilitated in 1993, and later starting in 2007 during a project that repainted the bridge a vibrant green.

A modern cantilever truss bridge at this location carries northbound traffic, while the historic bridge carries southbound traffic.

The bridge's extensive overhead bracing and built-up beams with extensive v-lacing and lattice give the bridge a beautiful geometric complexity. Its a striking contrast to the plain, simple appearance of the modern northbound bridge.

The bridge includes a series of approach spans. The most significant approach span is a simple span Warren through truss span, which is an extremely rare example of a Warren through truss with no vertical members.

Given the widespread and generally relentless destruction of historic cantilever truss highway bridges on the Ohio River, this bridge is an increasingly rare example of its type, and today one of the oldest highway cantilever trusses surviving on the Ohio River. Therefore, it is hoped that this bridge will continue to be maintained.


Photo Galleries and Videos: 12th Street Bridge

View Photo Gallery
2014 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2014 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2007 Bridge Photo-Documentation
A collection of overview and detail photos. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original Size photos and Mobile Optimized photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Video
CarCam: Southbound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Note: The downloadable high quality version of this video (available on the video page) is well worth the download since it offers excellent 1080 HD detail and is vastly more impressive than the compressed streaming video. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.


Maps and Links: 12th Street Bridge

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